Sue’s Story

29 Nov

Lily of the valley,
Bright and morning star
Fairest of ten thousand, you are
How can I perceive Your beauty,
I long to see your face Jesus, Jesus
More of you and less of me….Jesus

 The lyrics above are from a song that has been so significant to me over the past few years. What I have learnt (and am continuing to learn) is that the closer we get to Jesus, the more intimate our relationship, the more we can be transformed by Him. My iPod is often just on random and this song has the “knack” of coming on whenever I need reminding who should be central to my life!

I know that my journey into true and deep relationship with Jesus as my saviour would never have begun if God had not spoken directly to me in 2003 and told me to join Springfield. At that point in my life I was so angry with God. In fact I was raging with a God I professed not to believe in. Various experiences in my life had made me determined never, ever to go to a church again.God was a malevolent being (if he existed at all) and all vicars, priests, elders, ministers etc… were just the worst people in the world and to be avoided at all costs. I was a pretty difficult person, full of anger, sadness and confusion.

I found a church where I could be real,open and obnoxious and still be loved

 But something made me respond to God‟s prompting and turn up at Springfield. There I found a church where I could be real, open and obnoxious and still be loved! God gave me so many people who walked with me, prayed with me and for me and people who just loved me. I know that Will and Angie were the ones who saw me at my worst and Will in particular often became the focus of my anger. It was easier to rant at him than at God, he was after all the one in the dog collar — surely it was his job to take it??
 I know now that God sent me to Springfield so I could be restored and healed. So that I could be transformed and set free from all my hurts and anger. I am so grateful that God sent me to a church where people did not want to give up on me and did not want to manipulate me into being anything or anyone. People simply loved me intothe space where I had the freedom and confidence to be myself  — healed, restored and forgiven.

Now?? Well, in 2010 I left a job I loved and I am currently at Ridley Hall Cambridge, training to be a priest — one of those people who should be avoided at all costs! This summer I will be ordained and begin a curacy in the Diocese of Oxford at Holy Trinity Sunningdale.

I would never have believed the call or responded to the call if there had not been fabulous people at Springfield who encouraged, challenged and inspired me. God sent me to a church where being real matters more than being perfect. A church where people were gracious enough to see beyond my faults and facade and see my God-given gifts and potential. I thank Will for taking me seriously  when I told him in 2005 what I thought God was calling me to. Will walked with me through the process. I am immensely grateful for his wisdom in doing it slowly, not letting me rush ahead, for sensing what areas of my life needed to be dealt with first.

 God is awesome, giving me what I need, leading me,guiding me and loving me. I will always remember the first picture I was ever given. Angie told me she had seen a lighthouse with all the dust covers coming off. That was November 2003 and I had no idea what it meant and was still pretty dubious about such things, but I wrote it down and always remembered it. Then in 2010, when we were praying together just before I went on my final selection interview Angie again had a picture of a lighthouse. This time it was shining brightly. Angie had not remembered the first picture, but I had. God speaks to us in amazing ways.

Springfield is an amazing church and there is so much that I will take from it into my future ministry and it will always hold a dear place in my heart. It is the church where I was not afraid to have the mess stripped away and the real me uncovered. I am definitely not looking forward to my final service there in a couple of months. God called me to Springfield and for that I will always give thanks.